HomeNewsCrimeStrict Visiting Restrictions Are Affecting The Wellbeing Of Female Inmates

Strict Visiting Restrictions Are Affecting The Wellbeing Of Female Inmates

There have been several concerns over the wellbeing of female inmates who have been barred from seeing their children due to strict visiting restrictions.

There have been several concerns over the wellbeing of female inmates who have been barred from seeing their children due to strict visiting restrictions.

According to Her Majesty Inspectorate Prisons, which contacted visits at Send and Downview Prison and Young offender Institution, two closed women`s prisons in Surrey, discovered that several inmates` physical and mental health was deteriorating.

Many women in prison have not been in contact with their children for many weeks because of the strict rules on visits, meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Frontline service providers have constantly cautioned that female inmates are often victims of much more serious offences than those of which they have been sentenced.  The most recent report from the Prison Perform Trust revealed that about 80 per cent of female inmates were there for non-violent offences.

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Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, pointed out that there is an urgent need to implement a less “restricted regime”.

Mr Clarke said: “The suspension of visits has had a particularly acute impact in the women’s estate; many prisoners in Send and Downview had not seen their children for over three months. Video calling provision had only recently been rolled out in both sites, which women appreciated.”

In a report, inspectors had noted that managers had put in place effective measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, pointing out that during visits there was no evidence that the virus had been present in jails for a number of weeks.

The Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham said: “When sentencing, the judge would have assumed visits were possible. That changed with lockdown and the visits ban, so temporary release is the humane thing for the government to do for the sake of their children.

“Most mothers in prison shouldn’t be there anyway. We should find other ways to deal with mothers who commit crimes rather than sentence their children to misery, causing lifelong damage.”

The ban on prison visits which was implemented in March due the pandemic has affected the wellbeing of most prisoners who have been barred from seeing their children, partners, relatives or friends.

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